Stoked In The Park Day One – A Recap Of All The Shenanigans

Day one of our first ever Stoked In The Park! WE FUCKING DID IT! Amongst the madness of the San Fermin Running Of The Bulls festival, we had our own patch of madness at the Stoke campsite. Some of us had been in the campsite for a few days already, getting a feel for things, checking out Pamplona town and making good use of unlimited beer and sangria. Kicking off officially on July 7th with the first bull run taking place earlier that morning, adrenaline was still high and there was reason to celebrate. After some bloody delicious weather during the day, a monster of a storm rolled in with a vengeance, but that sure as hell didn’t stop the party.

While the sun was still out in full swing, we kicked things off with the one and only Kiwi Pips. Made up of the lovely Lee Dalloe on the mic and guitar, Rory Wheatley on bass and Gus Hart behind the kit, this trio is a musical force to be reckoned with. Sitting on the grass listening to their easy feel good tunes, it would have been hard to have a care in the world. The biggest problem you’d have is trying to decide who’s getting up to do the next sangria run. Barefoot babes were groovin’ and sidra was flowing high. The sweet summer tunes kept coming and more people began feelin’ the groove. A few particularly eager beavers did a lap of the grass to get those few lazy buggers still sitting up onto their feet and just like that, the festivities had officially begun. Have a cheeky listen to the angelic voice of Kiwi Pips here and get excited to treat your ears at La Tomatina!

Next, we were hit with a double whammy of Sydney bands (both of which are coincidently made up of full time legends), with Hiaground and Mesmeriser consecutively kicking things off for us and both bands absolutely killing it up on the Stoke stage. Hiaground boys (and brothers) Pat and Liam Byrne (guitar and drums) had been with us for a few weeks, while lead singer James Heathwood had joined the party only days earlier after missing a flight from Bali (easy enough to do) and after cruising around Europe for a bit, bass player Kyle McGuire was onboard too. Despite still being one man down, (we missed you Fernando) they still played their hearts out. Their super funky and unique sound had everyone grooving to their laid back summery tunes. It’s the kind of stuff you wanna listen to as you’re shuffling your bare feet in the grass and shaking your booty a lil, while sipping on an ice cold beer with your mates. Their original twist on a Sticky Fingers-esque sound (they even chucked in a cheeky cover of Gold Snafu) made for super easy listening and just a generally good time for all involved. To have your very own personal good time at home, check them out here.

Mesmeriser were up next, a three-piece consisting of Myles Fischer on lead vocals and guitar, Sam Barron on bass and Oscar Sharah making the drums his bitch. Despite the rain hammering down, their slightly meatier indie rock sound kept the funk alive. A super tasty heavy bass combined with impressive guitar solos and catchy drum beats meant that you could pull out pretty much any dance move and it would work. Fuck, the whole trio killed it, no doubt about it. Heads were banging and hips were moving the whole way through. They even treated us to their tasty new single, Hello Sunday Morning, which you can wrap your ears around here. Give the boys some lovin’, you know you want to.

The rain was still bucketing down and thunder and lighting were coming in hard and fast (probably not the only thing that night) but if anything, it only made things more fun. Shoes came off, clothes came off and we embraced the rain, thanks to this very wise direct quote from an unknown party master, Just have some fuckin’ beers and call it a raincoat. It’s hard to argue with advice that good.

Another bunch of Sydney legends took to the stage in the form of Honey Hayze, made up of Earl Weir on lead vocals (also the king of horny pants) Luke Martin (otherwise known as Shrek) on bass, Benjamin Samuels bringing the saxophone to life, Rory Wheatley on guitar, Dan Mac on the keys, and the one and only Gus Hart as the man on the drums. It was at this moment in the night we realised the stage was in it for the long haul, as it proved to be Earl-proof and the party passed the point of no return. Despite having somewhat of a croaky voice, Earl smashed out the tunes like a trooper and had the rowdy crowd screaming songs back to him like it was nobody’s business. The lads are releasing a brand new banger that will be available on all your favourite platforms by the name of Gypsy Lady, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for that one. If you’re partying with us in Spain, later this month there will also be an official launch party for the new tune, which is guaranteed to go off its tits. Stay tuned for details! In the mean time, we took the hard work out of sussing them out and had a little chat to them, which you can read here. 

By this stage hectic dance moves were flying, arms going in all directions. It was then time for the main event, the moment we’d all been waiting for, Art Vs Science took to the stage in all their glory and transported us to a boogie land we had only ever dreamed of. Frontman Dan Mac led us to a place of shirtless beauty we didn’t know existed and wowed our pants off with bloody delicious vocals and one hell of a guitar solo. Dan Williams killed it on drums, sweating up a storm and Jim Finn smashed out some very impressive keys. The trio turned that stage into a spaceship on a journey to somewhere magical and much to our delight, we were all invited. Keeping with the theme of new tunes, we copped two brand spankin’ new bangers which went down very nicely indeed. Apparently their method is to test new songs live before they’re officially released to see how they’re gonna go, and if this crowd was anything to go by, they’re gonna do really fuckin’ well. Put your disco pants on and check em’ out here.

As the party carried on long into the night, we all (700 and something of us) raised a glass to our first (fucking awesome) Stoked In The Park, and a very successful first day. We partied long into the night and for some, into the early hours of the morning. Although this was only the first night, it was shaping up to be one festival within a festival you’d be dumb to miss. Now that you’ve read through this whole thing and your FOMO levels are through the roof, stay tuned for the low-down on day two.

Sounds like a bloody good time right? Well you’re absolutely not wrong! Come and join us at our other festivals and if you’re lucky, you might get a lil’ taste of some of those delicious tunes. Grab your Stoke Passport now so you never have to experience FOMO like this ever again.